Update: At least one other potential buyer toured the team's headquarters per the Washington Post
News about the potential sale of the Washington Commanders has started to leak out again as we get closer to Sunday night and the invisible wall that is the Super Bowl. Dan and Tanya Snyder hired Bank of America Securities last year to explore a partial or full sale of the team. There has been a lot of speculation along with reports about who would be bidding, but none of the potential bidders had been directly linked to the team before now. Early non-binding indications of interest with indicative price points were accepted in late December, and the highest reportedly $6.3 billion, short of the $7 billion the Snyders have been reported to be looking for.
One name that has been linked to the potential sale since the beginning of the process is Josh Harris, who already owns the New Jersey Devils (NHL) the Philadelphia Sixers (NBA) and Crystal Palace FC (Premier League). There was a report last month that, while billionaire Todd Boehly was out of the bidding process, Harris could be the new favorite to buy the team. He was among the bidders for the Denver Broncos last year, but pulled out near the end when it became clear that the Walton group was willing to outbid everyone.
Ben Standig and Daniel Kaplan from the Athletic are reporting that Harris is indeed a bidder for the Washington Commanders, and he toured their headquarters in Ashburn, VA. They also said that the first round of bidding has not been concluded as previously reported, and that the deadline is actually in a few weeks.
Touring a team’s stadium or headquarters is not uncommon for prospective buyers before a first round of bids is due, which is in a few weeks, the people familiar with the sale process said. Last month, reports emerged that first-round bids had arrived in December, but the people who spoke with The Athletic for this story, one of whom is close to one of the possible buyers, said those were what are called non-binding indications of interest, not technically bids, though they usually include a sales price.
Representatives for the Commanders and Josh Harris declined to comment on this report.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has reportedly not submitted an expression of interest or a bid for the team, and might not, but there have been several reports saying that he could be waiting to step in later in the process and make an offer that Dan Snyder might not be able to turn down if he gets less than he wants from other bidders. With the first round of bids not actually due for a number of weeks, there is still plenty of time for Bezos to make his play, and Bank of America, along with other NFL owners, continue to court him to join the exclusive billionaires club.